Dog Housing


To house our pack of livestock guardian dogs we have a variety of different dog houses from the massive granite stone slab kennel to one made of wooden pallets. By far the easiest and simplest to setup is this one, the barrel dog house. It is simply a 50 gallon heavy duty plastic food grade barrel that olives came in from Italy. Drill some holes in a line along one wall which becomes the bottom, add some hay and presto! Instant dog house. It is large enough even for Kita and Saturn, our two largest dogs to use individually. The puppies can often be found snuggled in with bigger dogs like Kia, who’s in the barrel with Kira here, or Baloo who is another if Kia’s sons. The one thing is be sure to block the barrels so they do not roll. The dogs are not fond of tumbling amusement park rides!

These dogs are in the atrium, were the pups stay when unsupervised until they are trained. This is next to the house garden corral where various livestock overwinter so the puppies are always around the charges they’ll be guarding as adults. As the winter progresses the barrels become buried in the snow drifts and thus insulated from the cold and wind. The dogs keep the openings clear so they can get out of the wind on the worst nights. Interestingly, it is not uncommon to find them snuggled in a snowbank as often as in the barrels. They have the choice and that is what matters.

When marrying, ask yourself this question: Do you believe that you will be able to converse well with this person into your old age? Everything else in marriage is transitory. -Friedrich Nietzsche

31째F/11째F, Overcast

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About Walter Jeffries

Tinker, Tailor...
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9 Responses to Dog Housing

  1. Urban Agrarian says:

    My daughter, Christine, was just saying to me this morning she was hoping Walter would do more dog posts after I showed her your flickr photo of Kia’s latest pups.
    PS. I really loved the two suns photo.

  2. Janet says:

    Great idea! Happy Holidays to you! Thanks for stopping by my blog.

  3. Sylvana says:

    What a creative idea and way to go recycling!

    BTW – your dogs are cute and look really smart.

    (got here from Sandy’ blog)

  4. Anonymous says:

    Hi, thanks for the idea of the doghouse out of the 50 gallon container but i have a question– You said: “drill holes in a line at the bottom.” Then what? do you put a stak in each one? Do yu attach rope through the holes and tie it to the fence that they are up against> Thanks

  5. Oops, silly of me not to explain better! The holes are for drainage. Without the holes in the bottom we found that water accumulated in the barrel sometimes. The holes let it drain out and keeps the inside of the barrel dry. Of course, then it won’t make a very good submarine… :)

  6. Anonymous says:

    What kind of dogs are these? Are they from the same litter, the two in the barrel?

  7. The larger one in the barrel is Kia who is the mother of the smaller one in the barrel. The golden one outside the barrel is another of her older sons.

  8. Jenn says:

    What kind of dogs are these?

    • They’re a mix. A pinch of German Shepherd, a pinch of Black Labrador, mostly other. We have had them for five or more of their generations here on our farm doing livestock herding and guarding. They are natural livestock farmers. All have the same basic body form, fur and such. Color-wise, most of them are the tri-color variation. See here, here and here.

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